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We try hiding our secrets with ‘Confide,’ the Snapchat of text and emailing

You may think that sext you’re sending to HottieFoSho is private, and all that trash talking you make about your boss will never get out, but the Internet is not a well-sealed pipe. The things you say in texts and emails are not always just between you and your recipient. That can be a problem for those who have things to say that are probably best to not be shared with the masses. Confide is an app that understands this, and is offering a Snapchat-like texting app with words that disappear after being read.

Here’s how it works: To start, you have to give Confide access to your email contacts, and connect it to Facebook. Yes, there is some irony in a privacy-centric app asking to access all of your social contacts. If you can get over that, Confide acts a lot like a standard messenger app. Sending a message is similar to writing an email with a line for the recipient(s), subject title, and message. When it’s received, text is censored at first and revealed one word at a time as the recipient scrolls over the message. The process is inconvenient and requires you to basically memorize the text as you go, so it’s not great for long messages. Once it’s viewed, it’s gone forever.

Once opened, the sender is provided with a receipt that confirms a message has been viewed. If any effort is made to preserve the message with a screenshot, the sender is alerted to this (just like Snapchat), though there’s not much to capture with so few characters actually visible at a time.

Despite being burdensome, the requirement to wand over text is actually a fairly ingenious means of assuring privacy though it does leave the potential for screen captures to take your words out of context without the rest of the message visible. It’s also a solution that would only work with text. If Snapchat revealed pictures just chunks of pixels at a time, it would likely be long forgotten at this point.

Rather than take the same approach as an app like Snapchat and pushing into the crowded social networking niche, Confide is trying to be an app for business people and professionals. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it for personal private messages, but Confide is chasing the suits and briefcase crowd. It’s helped by a solid design and straightforward feature set. There’s no real bells and whistles to Confide; Just the text you send, the text you receive, and some simple settings options.

Despite being burdensome, the requirement to wand over text is actually a fairly ingenious means of assuring privacy.

The business focus is sure to create some questions about how people are using Confide. The developer suggests its for “honest, unfiltered, off-the-record conversations” between colleagues, which is probably a nice way of saying it’s for gossip. But there’s definitely the possibility of anti-competitive or insidious conversations taking place on it – or more insidious than talking smack about how Steve from accounting has terrible taste in music, at least. Far be it from us to hold an app responsible for what it’s users do, but the “private messaging for business people” pitch conjures up images of back alley dealings and sketchy affairs.

Confide is not a feature-rich app. It does exactly what it promises and nothing more than that. But it does it well. Though scrolling over text to read it could be more convenient, it does add confidentiality. As far as sending secret messages goes, it doesn’t get much easier than Confide. Whether you’re a professional with some inappropriate office talk to offer, you’re sharing some sensitive information with a friend, or you just want to pretend you’re Inspector Gadget, Confide is good for sending messages that self destruct.

Confide is available for iOS for free from the iTunes App Store.

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